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US warns airports of Al-Qaeda 'nitrocellulose' bombs
Press Trust of India ^ | 10/14/03 | Press Trust of India

Posted on 10/14/2003 7:08:06 AM PDT by Mark Felton

The US Homeland Security has warned airports all over the world against suspicious stuffed items among luggage after US intelligence concluded that Al-Qaeda operatives are being trained to conceal 'nitrocellulose' bombs inside them, reports said on Tuesday.

Intelligence officials have confiscated Al-Qaeda manuals and picked up several indications that the network is attempting to create a chemical called nitrocellulose to fashion explosive devices that could be smuggled aboard jetliners, The Washington Post quoted Homeland officials as saying.

"We judge this type of threat to be real and continuing. We have received reports from several credible, independent sources that Al-Qaeda is training to build such bombs", the officials said.

Among other things, confiscated Al-Qaeda training manuals show the sophistication of its preparations, they said.

Explosives experts said that the detonating power of a nitrocellulose bomb depends on numerous factors--but most particularly on how tightly the cotton-like material is packed.

According to a former director of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, Gregory G Baur, producing such explosives requires some degree of expertise.

Items such as buttons, zippers or wristwatches could be used in tandem with tightly packed nitrocellulose as power sources or ignition components to set off a detonation, the directive said.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; alqaeda; banglist; dhs; nitrocellulose; threat; tia; tsa
"All liberty flows from the barrel of a gun"
1 posted on 10/14/2003 7:08:06 AM PDT by Mark Felton
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To: Mark Felton
This is just a form of TNT, it is commonly called "gun cotton". It has been around for about 100 years. It was the primary source of explosives for artillery rounds for a very long time. There is nothing new about it. If they could come across a stash of WW II artillery shells they could take it out of them and use it. They don't need to invent the wheel again. Just use what is out there. It has a distinctive smell and a bomb sniffing dog could pick it up from 100 yards away.
2 posted on 10/14/2003 7:16:42 AM PDT by Flint
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To: Mark Felton
Powder..Patch..Ball FIRE!

Intelligence officials have confiscated Al-Qaeda manuals and picked up several indications that the network is attempting to create a chemical called nitrocellulose to fashion explosive devices that could be smuggled aboard jetliners, The Washington Post quoted Homeland officials as saying.

<>Intelligence officials<> my *ss. Guncotton is one of the easiest explosives to make and use...

3 posted on 10/14/2003 7:22:46 AM PDT by BallandPowder
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To: Flint
It's not TNT, which would be nitrated toluene. It is nitrated cellulose (or nitrated cotton or gun cotton as you mention.) You are correct that dogs would pick it up easily.

One can stabilize gun cotton with a liquid such as nitrated glycrine (nitro glycerine) and use gun cotton to stabilize the nitro glycerine. Theses are old technologies in the explosives field.

4 posted on 10/14/2003 7:30:14 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
Notice that Homeland Security did not deny rumors that the cellulose would be smuggled into the country inside a certain female Senator from the State of New York.

That is cellulite and it is explosive only in certain reward parts of the body.

6 posted on 10/14/2003 7:51:59 AM PDT by BJungNan
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To: Mark Felton
Isn't this just another indication that anything evil that can be conceived, can and will be perpetrated by those that are willing to surrender their humanity for a twisted ideology. Some years back a Swiss man went on a rampage with his HK AR walking down the street and into his neighbors homes systematically exterminating them. Is this the next thing on the list? If anyone has read Cooper's, Last of the Mohican's and can recall the beginning of the massacre at Fort William Henry, one might begin to understand the mentality of the enemy we are dealing with... if you don't already. Cooper used a degree of literary license to depict Indians as animalistic savages. Cooper was not, however, describing a specific enemy, but used the event, rather, to illustrate how a malevolent hatred can rot the mind and turn humans into sub-animalistic destructive monsters.

Monster do indeed exist. They are among us now, in many forms. WE created them, when we surrendered discrimination to tolerance without judgment.

7 posted on 10/14/2003 8:02:31 AM PDT by Mr.Atos
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8 posted on 10/14/2003 8:03:55 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Mark Felton
Many common household chemicals can be used to make explosives. All this is nothing new.

It is a reminder that we cannot negotiate with evil.

9 posted on 10/14/2003 8:28:00 AM PDT by LibKill (Force has settled more issues than any other factor. Forget that fact and pay large.)
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To: Flint; All
It has been around for about 100 years

A LOT more than 100 years. Nitrocellulosewas first employed as artificial Billiard balls in place of Ivory in the 1870's.

Further treating with more nitrate yielded Photographic film.

But tri-nitrating cotton gives "Gun Cotton", a starting point for Cordite, or "Smokeless Gunpowder".

10 posted on 10/14/2003 8:31:34 AM PDT by Lael (Bush to Middle Class: Send your kids to DIE in Iraq while I send your LIVELIHOODS to INDIA!)
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To: Mark Felton
Did someone say nitro-cellulite bombs?
11 posted on 10/14/2003 8:40:50 AM PDT by Some hope remaining.
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To: BJungNan; seamole
Methinks seamole was referring to a certain feminine hygeine product, with which Old Crusty mitigates her "crustiness".

Apologies for the visual image my reply precipitates.

12 posted on 10/14/2003 8:51:44 AM PDT by happygrl
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To: Lael
Old movie film was high in content. As a result the film stock was highly flammable bordering on explosive. We still have the hangover in movie film handling procedures and the elaborate precautions taken in projection rooms to prevent the spread of fire.

13 posted on 10/14/2003 9:02:04 AM PDT by FRMAG
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To: Flint
Ah, "guncotton". Back in the very politically incorrect mid-1960s, one of the experiments in my freshman chemistry class at VMI was making guncotton. I have long since forgotton the exact formula, but it was really astounding how easy it was (as long as one was careful with the acids). Apparently, guncotton was historically the staple of cadet "bombs" which were hurled into the courtyard on random nights, and, I'll attest, it was easier to make guncotton in the Chem labs than it was to obtain the preferred substitute M-80s.

It would be easy enough to stuff a teddybear with guncotton and have some poor unsuspecting kid carry it on board, I suspect.

14 posted on 10/14/2003 9:13:14 AM PDT by CatoRenasci (Ceterum Censeo [Gallia][Germania][Arabia] Esse Delendam --- Select One or More as needed)
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To: *bang_list
This sounds like nothing much more than gunpowder pipe bombs.

Be wary of this leading to restrictions on gunpowder and ammunition purchases.
15 posted on 10/14/2003 9:57:29 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed
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To: Some hope remaining.
"Did someone say nitro-cellulite bombs?"

Now THAT would be a big explosion!! Hate to think what would happen if she were eating refried beans.......

16 posted on 10/14/2003 11:55:33 AM PDT by SpinyNorman
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To: seamole
She would be riding the gun-cotton pony then...yes?

17 posted on 10/14/2003 12:53:27 PM PDT by Gringo1 (Some days you are the pidgeon....and other days the statue.)
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To: Mr.Atos
Cooper used a degree of literary license to depict Indians as animalistic savages. Cooper was not, however, describing a specific enemy, but used the event, rather, to illustrate how a malevolent hatred can rot the mind and turn humans into sub-animalistic destructive monsters.

Do not ascribe the actions of all of our muslum enemies to hatred as a motivation. There are many who sincerely pity us as doomed infidels, but very realisticly realize that it's either them or us, and are doing their very best to get in both the first and best blows possible.

And there are also many of those whose feelings toward us are more neutral, as you might be to a cockroach before stepping on it. And yet out of a motivation to do that which they perceive as their duty, they will do so unto their deaths.

If you are not aware of the muslum terrorist shootings on the railway near the Australian mining settlement of Broken Hill on New Year's Day of 1915, you would be well advised to do some homework.

-archy-/-

18 posted on 10/14/2003 1:47:00 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: archy
With all do respect, Archy, what does anything that you have said have ANYTHING to do with my point concerning the proliferation of sadistic brutality in the name of a cause? ... any cause. I made no specific mention regarding current enemies, because I fully expect that the complexion and religion of our enemies will become diluted as this current struggle between ideologies unfolds. The specific reference to the savagery of the Hurons was in metaphor only, and used to lend imagery to acts of savagery. My point being, this is going to get worse.

Do not ascribe the actions of all of our muslum enemies to hatred as a motivation. ??? Are you serious? In order to initiate a savage act of brutality against another Man, one must surrender their Humanity to irrational hatred for self and others. You may not think so. I get that.

You would be wrong.

There is no neutrality between life and death nor good and evil, just as there is no compromise between food and poison. If someone disregards my existence as insignificant as that of a cockroach, it makes no difference in my life. If you try to act on that notion, the force that you initiate will surely be slammed upon you like a mass of conceptual concrete, driven by the conviction of my right to exist and the fury of my desire to do so. If we cannot agree ideologically, then we may have to fight until one of us remains. Do get this, however. Of the two ideologies involved in the current struggle only one adopts the notion to "live and let live."

And please do pardon the research slip. I should have run a search for the most obscure incidents in the most backward places at the turn of the previous century when attempting to make a point about what is happen that effects me and my family in America right now.

20 posted on 10/14/2003 3:11:38 PM PDT by Mr.Atos
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To: Beelzebubba
Re: "Be wary of this leading to restrictions on gunpowder and ammunition purchases."

We have a winner! Give the contestant his prize, a nice stuffed animal. But don't try to take it home on the plane with you ;-)

Of course, even highly energized double-base, fast burning powders require confinement before they'll do little more than burn and sputter. So the profile might be more like middle eastern men with stuffed animals travelling with middle eastern plumbers. But we'll start with granny's stuffed gift to her granddaughter so everyone can feel safe about how thorough our window dressing, oops I mean zekurity, is.

21 posted on 10/14/2003 3:48:55 PM PDT by LibTeeth
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To: Mark Felton
Well, you can make a dandy bomb out of the stuff, but you have to pack it in the pipe really tight. Really, really tight. I'd recommend a cold chisel and a ball-peen hammer. You can tell when it's tight enough by holding a cigarette lighter to it...
22 posted on 10/14/2003 3:53:05 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: CatoRenasci
Just when I have gotten up the courage to make airline reservations again, here comes the specter of exploding teddybears. Sigh.
23 posted on 10/14/2003 3:58:11 PM PDT by Ditter
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To: FRMAG
We still have the hangover in movie film handling procedures and the elaborate precautions taken in projection rooms to prevent the spread of fire.

I don't think projection booths would have exposed platter reals if films were still made from nitrocellulose.

Those I'll admit I found myself wondering in Cinema Paradiso whether anyone would be so reckless as to leave a large box of loosely-tossed movie film in the projection booth. One stray spark and the whole room would have been in flames in under five seconds.

BTW, I recall reading that the "Heigh Ho" scene from Snow White almost went up in flames when a bigwig disregarded the strict "NO SMOKING" policies of the animation studio. The cells were stacked ready for photographing and only a very quick reaction by a staffer stopped the flames before they hit the characters.

24 posted on 10/14/2003 4:17:39 PM PDT by supercat (Why is it that the more "gun safety" laws are passed, the less safe my guns seem?)
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To: Flint
It has a distinctive smell and a bomb sniffing dog could pick it up from 100 yards away.

A human could smell it from a few yards away. It's kinda hard to mask that nitro smell.

25 posted on 10/14/2003 4:22:17 PM PDT by SSN558 (Be on the lookout for Black White-Supremacists)
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To: Lael
I'm pretty sure modern ping-pong balls and guitar picks are made from nitrocellulose. Both burn energetically.
26 posted on 10/14/2003 6:55:17 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: BallandPowder
hmmm... lessee... i whipped up my first batch of gun cotton when i was in 8th grade, i believe... it DID detonate, but not real well. i donna thin' that any terrorist will find a major barrier to manufacture...
27 posted on 10/14/2003 8:13:14 PM PDT by AFPhys (((PRAYING for: President Bush & advisors, troops & families, Americans)))
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To: Mr.Atos
With all do respect, Archy, what does anything that you have said have ANYTHING to do with my point concerning the proliferation of sadistic brutality in the name of a cause? ... any cause. I made no specific mention regarding current enemies, because I fully expect that the complexion and religion of our enemies will become diluted as this current struggle between ideologies unfolds. The specific reference to the savagery of the Hurons was in metaphor only, and used to lend imagery to acts of savagery. My point being, this is going to get worse.

Concur. And you pointed out but one example, I only added another; there are many, many more that could be added. I have seen such now in eight wars in which I've been either a participant or observer, three of which were most uncivil conflicts meant to establish national regime changes; I attended the first at about 10 years of age and expect to be off to the next around January or February of next year, with any luck- though I don't know if it will be good luck or bad needed to get the job done.

Do not ascribe the actions of all of our muslum enemies to hatred as a motivation. ???

Are you serious? In order to initiate a savage act of brutality against another Man, one must surrender their Humanity to irrational hatred for self and others. You may not think so. I get that.

Certainly not. That is very often one VERY common motivation, frequently applied. But often just as effective and despicable is the cold, deliberate elimination of an enemy for pragmatic reasons or those believed to be so justifiable, and that will certainly do. And of course, there are always those who either find it a pleasurable, enjoyable experience to slowly destroy or crush another's life, or similarly take out their own frustrations on thosde they perceive as lesser beings; were this not true we'd have fewer cases of spousal, child and household pet abuse in this country; but the computerized records of those who've come to the attention of the authorities for such acts would be a great starting place should a mass intake of domestic concentration camp guards be required. Happily, such sadism is less prevelant than it can become in a culture in which it's rewarded and helped to flourish, but Americans proved very adept at such things while reducing the numbers of troublesome American aboriginies and during the military campaigns in the Phillipines at the turn of the XX Century.

You would be wrong.

I have seen otherwise. Teaching your rookies to hate their enemy is a common enough tactic when used in desperation, asc by the Americans responding to the sneaky attack by the Japs at Pearl Harbor, followed by Wake Island, Corregidor and Bataan, and preceded by Nanking/Nanjing, but it can lead to counterproductive excess, as per the *Rape of Nanking* or the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.

And of course it can also lead to wholesale genocide or tribal elimination, as per the Bosnian *Ethnic Clensing* practiced by all parties concerned, and hardly anything new in that region, Hitler's removal of the untermenschen or the decimation-plus of the Ibos by the Nigerians in the 1960s-'70s, the slaughter of the Matabele by Mugabe's M'shona in Zimbabwe, or the nearly one million Rwandan Tutsis eliminated by the Hutus in three bloody months of the mid 1990s.

There is no neutrality between life and death nor good and evil, just as there is no compromise between food and poison.

God, I wish that were so. But most of us can be driven to things much darker than we can imagine ourselves capable of in saner monments. And once the line past that point is crossed once, it can be crossed again.

If someone disregards my existence as insignificant as that of a cockroach, it makes no difference in my life.

Unless they step on you like you were a cockroach. Or try very hard to do so.

If you try to act on that notion, the force that you initiate will surely be slammed upon you like a mass of conceptual concrete, driven by the conviction of my right to exist and the fury of my desire to do so. If we cannot agree ideologically, then we may have to fight until one of us remains. Do get this, however. Of the two ideologies involved in the current struggle only one adopts the notion to "live and let live."

And please do pardon the research slip. I should have run a search for the most obscure incidents in the most backward places at the turn of the previous century when attempting to make a point about what is happen that effects me and my family in America right now.

It depends on your outlook, I suppose. If you believe either that you are immune to the pressures of rage and fury if pressed to hard, or that you need never fear others willing to end their own lives to eliminate yours and those who look upon you as their families' protector, so be it. Most of those 3000 Americans who died in the World Trade Center and Pentagon certainly believed that, as did those in the death camps of Poland who kept hoping that the facility they were going to was really just a delousing shower intended to exterminate vermin. Maybe you feel that their deaths are less meaningful for the details of the numbers involved, or their relative obscurity in backwaters of Europe or New York, in which case ask not for whom the bell tolls so long as you have earplugs.

If like me you hope and pray that such things do not come to the USA in wholesale quantities again in the near future, then our hopes and prayers will be harmonious and sympathetic, and may acchieve more result than their individual weight might carry.

If, on the other hand, you're adopting the ostrich position while bleating *It can't happen here* you are on your own, pal.

-archy-/-

28 posted on 10/14/2003 8:20:04 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: CatoRenasci
It would be easy enough to stuff a teddybear with guncotton and have some poor unsuspecting kid carry it on board, I suspect.

The Transportation Safety Administration goons must be salivating at the prospect of ripping up the dolls and teddy bears of child passengers, particularly those in the hands of White kids.

-archy-/-

29 posted on 10/14/2003 8:24:21 PM PDT by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: Ditter
I can grant sympathy. We are praying traveling mercies for a precious daughter for tomorrow from UK. Faithing is the only way to get through this stuff.
30 posted on 10/14/2003 8:34:53 PM PDT by Spirited
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To: archy
I do appreciate the clarification. But, I am still not sure how it pertains to the fundamental issue. I am looking at the topic of this particular discussion and noting a complete dissolution of any notion of personal security in America of the twenty-first century. Wars have transcended the notions of borders, armies, flags, and certainly propriety. In little over a 150 years we have gone from uniformed armies facing off with swords and muskets in a field, to children being sniped at the park or micro-explosives planted in a souvenir stuffed toy. Granted brutality existed before, from an aboriginal savage dashing the head of a baby against a rock as depicted by Cooper, to the inevitable, and inconscionable demise of native people of this land. We can dilute the issue furher by reviewing the horrors of history: The Teutoburg Massacre, The rage of Prince Vlad, The Inquisitions, Tenochtitlan, Sand Creek, the Rape of Nanking, Auschwitz, Dresden, Hiroshima, The World Trade Center. Man should be learning from the mistakes of his past and evolving beyond the primordial instincts for hatred. And again I say that in order to INITIATE force in the form of violence on another Man, one must act in one of two ways: surrender humanity entirely to the animalistic instincts of a beast, thus denying humanity entirely; or by choice to forfeit one's own existence, by denying another's thereby surrendering any notion of Man's right to exist for his own sake. The latter is a recipe for destruction, knowingly denying any human the one fundamental inalienable right and establishing the ultimate primacy of death. The only motivation for worshipping death is an irrational hatred of life.

Far from transending however, 21st century Man has been slapped with the reality that human brutality has moved beyond defensive acts of rage and vengeance exercised on a battlefield. Horrors can be enacted singularly and personally. One Man's individual hatred is the motivation for mass murder... on an unimaginable scale.

The essential issue for Man is inevitably his individual behavior, because it has come down to only that when one Man can choose to strap on a bomb and walk onto a crowded bus, insert a microbomb into a toy, or infect himself with small-pox and get on an international flight to London.

For you there are infinite shades of grey. But, I suggest that there is really only black and white. Life or Death.

All Man's actions extend from that one fundamental choice.

31 posted on 10/14/2003 9:42:59 PM PDT by Mr.Atos
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To: Mark Felton
On a TV show about fireworks roughly a year ago, they profiled a guy who has started a company to use nitrocellulose rather than black powder in fireworks. The nitrocellulose burns without smoke and allows the fireworks to have sharper, brighter colors.
32 posted on 10/15/2003 2:02:19 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: Mark Felton
On a TV show about fireworks roughly a year ago, they profiled a guy who has started a company to use nitrocellulose rather than black powder in fireworks. The nitrocellulose burns without smoke and allows the fireworks to have sharper, brighter colors.
33 posted on 10/15/2003 2:03:05 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: Mark Felton
On a TV show about fireworks roughly a year ago, they profiled a guy who has started a company to use nitrocellulose rather than black powder in fireworks. The nitrocellulose burns without smoke and allows the fireworks to have sharper, brighter colors.
34 posted on 10/15/2003 2:06:56 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: Mark Felton
sorry about that
35 posted on 10/15/2003 2:08:53 AM PDT by wideminded
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